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Kotaku

A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord)Mathieu Aerni is a character artist at Blur Studio, they of amazing video game trailer fame.



He's worked on trailers and cinematics for games such as Halo 4, Far Cry 3, The Elder Scrolls Online, Lord of the Rings: War in the North and Dishonored.



Over the years he's also worked on a number of motion pictures, including Wolverine, The Grey and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.



You can see more of Mathieu's work at his personal site.





To see the larger pics in all their glory (or, if they're big enough, so you can save them as wallpaper), right-click on them below and select "open in new tab".

Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you're in the business and have some concept, environment, promotional or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!



A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord)


Product Release - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 50% on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim !

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Product Release - Valve
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn is Now Available for Pre-Purchase on Steam!

With this official add-on for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, journey off the coast of Morrowind, to the island of Solstheim. Encounter new towns, dungeons, and quests, as you traverse the ash wastes and glacial valleys of this new land. Become more powerful with shouts that bend the will of your enemies and even tame dragons. Your fate, and the fate of Solstheim, hangs in the balance as you face off against your deadliest adversary – the first Dragonborn.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to What we want from Fallout 4">fallout header







There’s some scuttlebutt regarding a new Fallout floating around the internet: the radioactive smoke is curling up from the burning, irradiated embers. Bethesda have been registering names, and the in-game DJ’s voice actor has promised more from him. Could it be? Is it possible?



With Skyrim out of the stable, there’s definitely room for Bethesda to get irradiating the world again. There’s a really good base, but there’s always room for improvement. And, what do you know, I’ve written down some thoughts on what they could work on.



Livelier roads, cities, and towns. There's a reason these things pop up time and time again on the Fallout mod sites. It’s a basic incompatibility at the heart of Bethesda’s game: most games are a bit more fun with a livelier world, but the world of Fallout follows on from the razing of the human race. Bethesda tend to err on the side of caution with this, though tech issues are probably to blame for the rather empty casinos of New Vegas, but creating a world means populating it, and the mods that add new travelers and people still do that without impacting the overall feeling of loneliness. As it is,the roads of the Wasteland are a bit too quiet for the game they’re part of.







Make it about survival. In Bethesda’s hands, the Wasteland is fun. By the middle of a run through you’re clobbering Deathclaws with concrete capped rebars and sipping irradiated water without a care in the world. Possibly with a pinkie out. The point being is that the notion of survival becomes obsolete in a world dripped in caps to find, traders to sell to, and junk to collect. New Vegas has hardcore mode, forcing you to think about food, water, and rest, as well as altering the way meds and stimpaks work, but it’s still a world that can easily and comfortably be lived in. It needn’t be the main difficulty level, but the option to make the world a harsh place to live, to make the players think about every move, not just their weapon and perk choices, would give the ashy flavour of survival.



Bethesda's Design, Obsidian's Characters. There I was, wandering beneath a line-up of broken satellite dishes, looking for things to do when I spied a door. What could be behind it? A gang of gangers? A terrified NPC? A few steps towards it, a glance around to make sure there was nothing sneaking up. I popped the door. Behind it was a wall with “Fuck You” written on it. Bethesda’s worlds tend to be packed with detail, big and small. They’re places to live in and enjoy, and just brilliant places to explore. Their characters, however, are a lot less engaging. Obsidian’s take on New Vegas was packed with morally dubious Wastelanders with dark stories. Acquiring Boone as a follower, for example, meant leading a person out into a field for the deranged sniper to shoot. That’s dark enough, but as a player you could happily lead an innocent into Boone’s sights. Somewhere in the middle of Fallout 3 and New Vegas is the sweet spot they should be aiming for: dark, compelling characters in a curated world.









Treat us like PC gamers. I've never loaded up a Bethesda game and felt the studio really understood what PC gamers want from them. We have screen space and we have a pointing device that just seems to baffle them. I understand there’s a fictional reason for the Pipboy’s clunkiness, but all too often Bethesda will choose that over usability. Fallout 3 and New Vegas are remarkable examples of how to not lead a player through a game’s menus. I *have* to install a UI mod to deal with the endless scrolling of the inventories. When it comes to pure usability, divorce the theme from the menus



The same is true for FOV: the first thing I have to do in any Bethesda game is to hunt for an FOV hack. That I can do it is evidence that the engine is capable, and I’m still baffled that it’s not a native selection. Give me a damn slider.



Meaningful Character Creation. There are a fair number of perks, abilities and skills to begin with in Fallout. But there’s nothing to set allegiances or race. Bethesda’s Fallouts give you plenty of opportunity to interact with factions, and alliances will be built from your actions, but what if you don’t want to put the work in, or want to roleplay from the opening bell? It needn't allow you to select playing as a Ghoul, but predisposing you towards the NPR would make an interesting challenge to overcome.







Think about the Karma system. I nuked Megaton. I actually destroyed a town full of people. I can’t imagine any game allowing me to claw my way back from that, but Fallout 3 let me. Through good deeds I managed to reclaim my karma and end-up with a reasonably decent character sheet. I wouldn't mind my deeds being somewhat recognised, but I blew up a town. There are no meaningful consequences that you can’t undo. Make it harder to turn myself around, and make some choices indelible. By the same token, if I’m stealing things from bad people, don’t make that a hit on my karma. By all means make the faction hate me, but the world should recognise the good I just did.



More than one city. Bethesda’s games just don’t have the scope of the original series, because building all that content and the space in between in the sort of game that they make would take a decade. But the DLC that they've added to the game has shown a willingness to allow the player to simply hop to another area without worrying about the space in between. Or just choose a reasonably close cluster of cities that the fiction hasn't totaled.



Make it it hurt. My violent streak has never been well-served by Fallout 3 or NV (I like Skyrim’s bows, though). VATs is nice touch, and certainly enhances the basic combat, but whether it’s swinging a concrete caked rebar, or zapping with the Wasteland’s most advanced lasergundeath tech, there’s weediness to it. There’s little heft to the melee weapons, and the report of the guns doesn't match what they do to enemies. Please, Bethesda, play Dark Messiah and Red Orchestra, two games where the combat feels utterly perfect. That’s the level of combat excellence that an action Fallout needs.







A use for everything. Speaking of that, Fallout New Vegas allowed you to mod your guns a little, augmenting them with scopes and such. That’s a good start. This is a world where invention is a necessary part of survival, and where scavenging should be part of a crafting system that allows you build everything and anything, and to mod things on top of that. I’d even lobby for individual components to be brought in from the Steam Workshop. Oh yeah...



Use The Steam Workshop. This is kind of a lock: the Skyrim Workshop is the third busiest of the modder’s distribution platforms. But what I would urge is for Bethesda to make the tools available on launch day. It will help with content, and if none of the above in the list makes it, it’ll give the modders a jump on fiddling with and fixing everything on the list above.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Dishonored and The Walking Dead score high in Game Developers Choice Award nominations">The Walking Dead thumb







The Game Developers Choice Awards are the other side of a coin that also contains the IGFs. Sure, indies are allowed into this GDC organised awards show, but they have to promise to be on their best behaviour. And wash behind their ears.



The nominations for this year's award - chosen by a panel of game developers - have been announced, with The Walking Dead and Dishonored scoring plenty of nods. Not the most, though - that honour goes to Journey, which is apparently a PS3 game about collecting scarves. Or something.



Dishonored picked up four nominations, including Game of the Year, Best Game Design, Best Narrative and Best Visual Arts. The Walking Dead also received nominations for Game of the Year and Best Narrative, as well as a chance to nab Best Downloadable Game. Wait, aren't all games downloadable?



Other PC relevant nominations include Game of the Year nods for Mass Effect 3 and XCOM, a well deserved Best Audio mention for Hotline Miami, and a Best Technology listing for Planetside 2. FTL also did well, being nominated for the Innovation Award, along with a shot at Best Debut for its developer, Subset Games.



Here's the full list:



Game of the Year

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)



Innovation Award



Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)

The Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/Sony Computer Entertainment)

ZombiU (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft)





Best Audio



Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)





Best Debut



Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail)

Polytron Corporation (Fez)

Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan)

Subset Games (FTL: Faster Than Light)

Fireproof Games (The Room )









Best Downloadable Game



The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)

Trials: Evolution (RedLynx/Microsoft Studios)

Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)









Best Game Design



Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)





Best Handheld/Mobile Game



Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment)

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

The Room (Fireproof Games)

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)





Best Narrative



Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Entertainment/2K Games)

Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Virtue's Last Reward (Chunsoft/Aksys Games)





Best Technology



Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)

Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision)

Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)





Best Visual Arts



Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software/2K Games)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)





The winners will be announced at GDC on March 27. Can you think of anything that's been unfairly missed out?
Kotaku

Here Are the 2012 Games That Developers Want to Give Awards to Of all the video game events that happen every year, the Game Developers Choice Awards might be the ones that resonate most with game-makers. That's because they're determined by the masses of folks who make video games vote to nominate the best examples of the form from the preceding months.



For this year's GDC Awards, the games getting the most nominations are Journey (named in six categories), Dishonored (four categories) and The Walking Dead (three). The new Narrative category highlights Spec Ops: The Line and Virtue's Last Reward among others while the Innovation nominees include FTL, ZombiU and Mark of the Ninja. The full list is below, and shows off what a great and diverse year 2012 was for gaming . The 2013 awards ceremony happens on March 27th during this year's Game Developers Conference.



Best Audio
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)



Best Debut

Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail)

Polytron Corporation (Fez)

Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan)

Subset Games (FTL: Faster Than Light)

Fireproof Games (The Room)



Best Game Design

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)



Best Downloadable Game

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)

Trials: Evolution (RedLynx/Microsoft Studios)

Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)



Best Technology

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)

Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision)

Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)



Best Handheld/Mobile Game

Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment)

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

The Room (Fireproof Games)

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)



Best Narrative

Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Entertainment/2K Games)

Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Virtue's Last Reward (Chunsoft/Aksys Games)



Best Visual Arts

Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software/2K Games)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)



Innovation

Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)

The Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/Sony Computer Entertainment)

ZombiU (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft)



Game of the Year

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)


Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Looks a bit like Robyn?

SWTOR got it wrong – oh so very wrong – but here we are once again, looking at a mega-bucks MMO that could> make World of Warcraft wriggle around uncomfortably, like it’s wearing underwear a size too small. Like it or not, Skyrim is a game which crossed to The Other Side, that strange and terrifying world of people who play games but don’t follow gaming. Y’know, Normals. As such, Bethesda’s upcoming massively multiplayer monster-stabber The Elder Scrolls Online has at least a chance at a very big audience, not purely the MMO-educated. We shall see!

Today’s big news, though, is that Bethesda have opened up beta sign-ups for TESO, and they have a fancy-pants new trailer too. Guess where I’ve put that? (more…)

PC Gamer
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Bethesda Softworks are today taking beta sign-ups for their upcoming MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online. Those interested in participating must perform a dark and ancient blood pact, binding their soul to the corrupted realm of Oblivion... no, wait, you have to register at ElderScrollsOnline.com. That's much simpler.



No time frame has been given for the beta period, but successful applicants will be informed of the test schedule at a later date. In the meantime, Bethesda have unleashed an action-packed cinematic trailer, showing off the game's three factions. And some werewolves.







That's some mighty impressive CGI, but I can't imagine you'll be assaulting a castle like that in the game. To see what ESO actually looks like, take a look at this video. Or, for a rundown of the story behind the game's three factions, check out this development diary from Bethesda's Head Mage/Lead Loremaster. Want more? By Talos, you're insatiable. Luckily, you can read Tom's impressions here.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Real life human wizard lays down the lore in The Elder Scrolls Online dev diary">The Elder Scrolls Online - lead loremaster







Do you have to look like a wizard to become a lead loremaster, or do you gradually transform into one once you've accepted the position? I'd ask Elder Scrolls Online lead loremaster and wizard, Lawrence Schick, but he's too busy discussing the delicate socio-political situation in Tamriel. There's a power vacuum in Cyrodiil and challengers to the throne are popping up in every other town. Sit back, take a sip of mead and hear a grand story of kings, necromancers and armoured lizards courtesy of the latest Elder Scrolls Online developer diary.







That was a lot of concept art, wasn't it? Here's what the game will actually look like:



Kotaku

Skyrim's DLC Is Coming To PS3 Next Month



Finally! Skyrim's downloadable content, until now exclusive to Xbox 360 and PC, is making its way to the PlayStation 3.



Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn will all be on the PlayStation Network in February. They'll all be 50% off during their launch week.



In case you're a PS3 player and you haven't been paying attention, here are some links to our coverage for the vampire-filled Dawnguard pack (not great), the home-making Hearthfire pack (lovely for fans of domestic activity), and Dragonborn, the best of the three.



So what took so long? Dunno. Last August, Bethesda said bringing Skyrim's DLC to PS3 was a complicated issue.



Dragonborn will also hit PC on February 5, Bethesda's Pete Hines announced today.


...

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